Osman vs. Silva will be a key positional battle - Alex Livesey
We talked with Nayir of SB Nation's Manchester City blog 'Bitter & Blue' about how the defending champion's season has been going.
'Bitter & Blue' is the SB Nation blog for Premier League defending champions Manchester City, and we had the pleasure of chatting with them ahead of Saturday's game at Goodison Park.
RBM - 12 points behind, 10 games to go. The big question for most football fans is, can City pull off a miraculous comeback again?
B&B - We are a hopeful bunch. That's for sure. But we (the majority, anyways) remain realistic. We will do everything we can to secure as many points as possible, but it's really all on United. It's their title to lose at this point. If they slip like they did last season and drop points left and right, we'll happily charge up behind them. But regardless of that, Roberto Mancini will hopefully have the boys playing out the season in respectable fashion. The players won't give up, that much we do know.
RBM - City have really sparkled in the FA Cup. Failing a late League run, will the Cup be enough to keep Mancini's job?
B&B - The Cup should be enough. Even if we don't win the Cup, I'd still expect Mancini to be there next season. I think with some of the directors City have brought in recently (Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano, previously employed by Barcelona), stability and a focused approach to long term success of the club has been placed at the forefront now that the club have gained success domestically and put a foot into European competition. So, I wouldn't expect Mancini to be sacked. It would be unfair to him.
RBM - How did City do during the January transfer window? Who did they bring in, and who was on their way out?
B&B - City didn't bring anyone in during the January window except for a couple youngsters, which I think was the right move at the time. The players who were rumored to leave were almost all new signings from this past summer, but it was far too early to call it quits on them, and I don't think they played poorly enough to leave either. Only Mario Balotelli left the club, and I guess that was the best move for both clubs. Us City fans will miss him, but if funds from his transfer and possibly Edin Dzeko's exit in the summer can help package a deal for a Edinson Cavani or Falcao in the summer, just about everyone would be okay with it.
RBM - Where does the team stand in the injury situation, do they have any significant injuries? Who is in form and who's not?
B&B - We've got a lot of injuries at the moment. Sergio Aguero, Maicon, Jack Rodwell, Micah Richards, and Vincent Kompany are all still a bit away from fitness and will not feature this weekend. Samir Nasri had a bit of a knock but will probably be on the bench. Those in great form at the moment include the Toure brothers, James Milner, Carlos Tevez, David Silva, and Matija Nastasic. The rest are all doing alright, though I'd say Joleon Lescott has been generally out of form all season.
RBM - Finally, a score prediction for Saturday? Who do you think will be the star performers on Saturday?
B&B - Though have been our bogey team over the past few years, we are in great form at the moment and Everton apparently are not. I'm inclined to go with a 2-0 City win but you really never know when these two teams meet, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a hard-fought draw. A visit from City might provide the inspiration Everton need right now. I think Nastasic will continue to shine at the back, and this is the type of game that Pablo Zabaleta is always up for. I'd expect Milner's industry to be a key factor for us, as well as link-up between Tevez and Silva.